Winter naked festival

My Japanese tipster, aka “the husband,” pointed me to this news story and these incredible photos about Hokkaido’s “misogi omatsuri” or festival.

I am not sure what the water is about, but it must certainly add to the masochism that Japanese are often fond of. Making this spiritual event all the more “moe,” only four men perform the ritual while everyone else watches them.

Next year in Hokkaido!


  1. Haha. Hard to explain, particularly to one’s mother, but I understand that is a sexual and ritualized connection with the Shinto gods. Winter water or summer mud is part of it because Japan’s spirituality is deeply masochistic.

    You can also read about it on Wikipedia:

    My favorite part of the Wikipedia explanation is: “Also there is a single man that is completely naked and is shaven everywhere on his body that acts as the GOD-MAN. It is said that he comes out and all of the men try to touch him it is believed that if you touch him you will have good luck for one whole year.”

    I am sure some of my dear readers know more about this event, and can fill us in on the “meaning.”

  2. After discovering my love for cold water (only after very hot water), I can sort of relate. But I’d be too afraid of a coronary.

    1. For me the beauty of this is strictly in the voyeurism. I don’t want a single cold drop to fall on me. But I would love to see these scantily clad masochists in their ritual suffering.

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